The U17’s junior Gorillas have come away with their third premiership after their 25-12 victory over the Orange Emus in Forbes last Saturday.
“The boys went into the game as physically and mentally prepared as they could. They each knew their jobs both individually and as a team,” Coach Rebecca Smyth said.
After finishing the 15 round regular season undefeated with only 49 points being scored against them and a massive for and against total of 621 as well as a successful 36-0 victory against the Mudgee Wombats in the major semi-finals, the boys enjoyed a weekend off before ending to Forbes last Saturday.
“The boys knew they had to show Orange Emus respect as they are a team that could certainly cause damage across the park, so the boys had to step up another level,” Coach CJ Smyth said.
The Gorillas had everything to lose and the Emus had everything to win. The game stated with the expected intensity, and in the first 10 minutes Jacob Taylor was able to score under the black dot. It came after some fantastic lead up work by Taine Marchant, who with the help of Harry Krueger kept the ball alive near the oppositions try line. The sure foot of Alex Heap ensured the conversion and Gorillas were up by seven.
A penalty kick later saw Gorillas out to a 10 nil lead. Heading into the later stages of the first half saw a try by Sam Parish and a successful conversion to give Narromine a 17 nil lead at half time.
The second half saw Emus coming out with increased intensity putting the Gorillas defences to the test. After some hard work out wide the Emus were able to score a try, and with a successful conversion the score was 17-7. The Emu’s continued the intensity and would have increased their score if not for the two try saving tackles by Jack Allen on the wing.
On the back of this pressure the Gorillas fought back and were rewarded with another penalty kick, giving them a 20-7 lead. Not to be outdone, the Emu’s came back strong scoring another try, but conversion was unsuccessful.
The Gorillas responded immediately with a try to fullback Justin Bennett and the boys spreading the ball from one side to the other. The conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 25-7.
With a few intense minutes remaining on the clock the Gorillas where able to withstand the Emu’s final few phases and came away with the victory, winning 25-2.
“Harry Krueger’s defence was outstanding throughout the game and the forward pack dominated the scrum after some work on it during the week, the backs showed brilliance in both defence and attack by taking and making metres and causing overlaps,” Beck Smyth said.
This win gave the Gorillas a back-to-back U17’s premiership and is the third successive title for this playing group after winning the 2016 U15’s premiership. Halfback Jack Bell also had a brilliant game and picked up the Most Valuable Player Award, chosen by the referees for the game.
“Both CJ and I are so proud of the boys and we have been lucky enough to have coached them over the past few years. We have seen then grow into brilliant rugby players and lovely young men,” Smyth said.